GM Workers Ratify Auto Contract – Ford Is Up Next - American Society of Employers - Michael Burns

GM Workers Ratify Auto Contract – Ford Is Up Next

General Motors headquartersAs most are probably already aware GM-UAW Workers voted to ratify (57% for/43% against) their new four-year agreement with General Motors last Friday.  It also ended the longest nationwide strike against GM in over 50 years. Ford and FCA now have to finish their negotiations. The UAW has said it will now turn its negotiating focus on Ford Motor Company.

In addition to the $11,000 signing bonus and 3% wage increases in years 2 and 4 of the contact and the 4% lump sum payments in year 1 and 3 of the contract, the two-tier wage system that the workers really did not like will be phased out. During this contract employees hired at the lower rate with four years or more experience will reach pay parity with the higher seniority worker making $32/hr.

The temporary workers that account for up to 7% of GM’s workforce will have a pathway to permanent employment after three years starting with 900 temporary workers going full-time regular in January. For more details follow this link.

In comparison to GM, Ford has 55,000 UAW workers and FCA has 44,000 UAW employees. At Ford 34% of their workers are “in progression” or at the low end of the two-tier wage schedule. 6% of Ford workers are temporary. At FCA it is estimated about half of their 44,000 workers are “in progression” and not earning the top wage for their classifications. Information on the number of temporary workers at FCA was not found.

The bargaining now turns to Ford. GM’s contract is generally considered a pretty good win for UAW workers. In part GM was able to close three plants for that contract to settle. Kristin Dziczek from the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor points out that both Ford and FCA do not have any plants to close so what do they get in exchange for following the pattern of bargaining GM set? In fact, FCA is building plants. However, FCA has a lot more temporary workers than Ford. Will Ford and FCA be able to break pattern?

Because GM was bargaining for plant closings and Ford is not scheduled to close any plants, arguably Ford and FCA settlements may better reflect what UAW Suppliers (AAM, Nexteer, Lear) may have to address in negotiations. That’s providing the suppliers are not negotiating plant closures either.

ASE to Host Auto Contract Briefing

As with past Detroit Three negotiations ASE will host a Auto Contract Briefing. Representatives from the Detroit Three will provide information about the contracts and the negotiations to participants. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the pattern-setting contract settlement and network with the auto industry labor representatives and your labor colleagues to be up to date for supplier negotiations.

Watch for more information on this program in upcoming EPTW issues.

 

Sources: GM Contract Terms May be a Tougher Fit for its Rivals (NYT 10/20/2019) GM Workers Approve Contract and End UAW Strike  (NYT 10/25/2019) With UAW Contract Set, UAW Takes its Fight to Ford and Fiat Chrysler. CNBC (10/27/2019)

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